Every fairytale is inclined to contain similar features, all falling under Webster’s definition: “A story in which improbable events lead to a happy ending, involving a protagonist who is put to a test” (Webster’s Dictionary).
Furthermore, they have similar plots that tend to include a beautiful damsel in distress, a dashing hero, and a wicked antagonist who prevents the man and woman from happily being together. An example of this can be shown through the Grimm Brother’s fairy tale of Snow White, who is separated from both love and happiness by the evil queen. Both the novel The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima, and Snow White, by the Grimm Brothers, share the similar themes of vanity and feministic portrayals, as well as the typical structure of most fairytales.
For hundreds of years now, women have been portrayed in a way that suggests they are the most passive of the two genders, and how “…physical beauty, grace, innocence, ignorance, and even silence (in Sleeping Beauty, for example) are all ways in which women can conquer the forces of evil, and by so doing, achieve the ultimate life victory–getting the guy” (Christian Brothers University).
The classical stereotype that has been set upon women is that they belong in the kitchen, cooking and cleaning, while still looking flawless. In Grimm’s Snow White, though Snow White is a princess and a child, she is still taught that in order to be a good girl she must obey what she is told to do. This includes when the dwarves tell Snow White that “”If you will keep house for us, and cook, make beds, wash, sew, and knit, and keep everything clean and orderly, then you can stay with us, and you shall have everything that you want” (Grimm Snow White).
Walt Disney and Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm Walt Disney and the Grimm Brothers used their talents, and, with help, became some of the most famous children's literature writers and business owners of all time. Many children have read Grimm Brothers' fairy tales and watched Walt Disney's films and cartoons. The creators have used their tales, films, and cartoons not only during their lives, but even ...
Likewise, in The Sound of Waves, women are portrayed with the same amount of stereotype as in the Western fairytales. The women are the ones who have to do the household work, and Mishima even clearly stated facts like “Drawing water was women’s work” (Mishima 86).
The other component of being a perfect woman is looking presentable at all times and ultimately looking better than everyone. This is where the queen in Snow White fits in. She has become so obsessed by the image in the mirror and being the best she becomes essentially evil. The queen gets to the point where she wants to eat the organs of Snow White because of the jealousy lying inside of her. The story is giving women mixed messages saying not to obsess about looks but be beautiful, and portraying a woman as the heroine, but still saying disobedience of the women’s roles will lead to punishment.
Even though Chiyoko in The Sound of Waves was no evil stepmother (although she did have a negative impact on the plot), Chiyoko fell under the influence of vanity, searching for Shinji’s approval like it’s the most important thing to her. She even goes as far out as to ask Shinji what he thinks of her, for example, “Shinji? Am I so ugly?’ ‘What?’ a puzzled look spread across his face. ‘My face, is it so ugly?’…Shinji, in a hurry, replied ‘What makes you say that. Youre pretty” (Mishima 117).
Lastly, Chiyoko was described in a way that would suggest that she was not beautiful, for example, Mishima described her as “plain,” “her dingy features were thrown together that might have appealed to someone” (Mishima 58).
This can be interpreted in a way that suggests that because Chiyoko is not as beautiful as Hatsue, she does not deserve Shinji’s love, even though they had grown up together.
When Snow White is “rescued” by the dwarfs they make an agreement with her that they will keep her safe if she does the cooking and cleaning for them. By agreeing to this she is put in a position of servitude. A woman is supposed to be responsible for everything in the kitchen while the man, the dwarfs serving as the man in the story, is the protector and is the one who will be right in the end. They warn her not to let anyone in, but Snow White disobeys them. In doing this she disobeyed men, which leads to consequences like being poisoned and death in the end. This creates the idea that women don’t know what they are talking about and are distracted and should take men’s advice on all subjects. In the time this story was written the hidden message was to designate these ideas and roles to women and show them what they need to do, but in a way disguised as a fiction story. The women of Utajima are also expected to follow orders, and do exactly what the men are told. For example, both Hatsue and Shinji’s mother were denied rights because of a superior male figure. Hatsue was denied the right to marry the man she loved, and Shinji’s mother was denied the right to be able to discuss an important matter with Terukichi at all. If both Hatsue and Shinji’s mother were men, they would have been able to deal with these problems more easily, being able to choose whomever they wanted to marry, and being able to talk to Terukichi without being shamefully turned away.
Women and Men Communicate Differently The process of neo-Liberal dogmas, such as celebration of diversity and elimination of sexism, being showed up peoples throats, brought about a situation, when employment policies correspond less and less to the objective reality of interaction between genders at workplace. Men and women are expected to execute their professional duties with the same ...
Some things about fairy tales we know to be true. They begin with “once upon a time,” and end with “happily ever after,” and somewhere in between the prince rescues the damsel in distress. It is exactly the ignorance of the women in fairy tales that has led many parents to wonder whether their children should be exposed to them. Can any girl ever really believe that she can grow up to be president or CEO or an astronaut after a couple viewings of Disney’s “Snow White”? Childrens Place Theatre (Paragraph 7) chooses Snow White as a nearly pure form of gender archetype in the fairytale. Grauerholz says “parents need to be aware that some stories tell children that unattractive people are more likely to be evil and reinforce traditional gender roles that may be confusing for today’s young women” (Purdue).